Time for a round up of the year I think. Each year I compile a CD of songs I have loved throughout the year and give it to my brother and friends Anna and Sarah. This year the tracklist was less a reflection of new songs I’d loved and more of an emotional journey through the year. Just to create an epic blog post for you I’ve decided to take you through it. Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last…
We start off with the excellent Barenaked Ladies song: ‘Who needs sleep?’. Our theme song for the year as we dealt with the small one’s lack of love of sleep and our frustrations with that. We’ve learnt lots through the sleep deprivation, patience hasn’t been downloaded into our brain but we’ve developed some through this hardcore training ground.
REM’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ touches on the tough points of the year. These occurred mainly in the first quarter of the year as I hit rock bottom in coming to terms with this new life and the need for sleep sent me slightly insane. Crying on the floor with him in the dark gave way to a gradual coming to terms with life as a Mum and enjoyment of our gorgeous son.
U2’s ‘Some Days are Better than Others’ is a beautiful expression of the reality of the ordinary life we live our days through. Some days are indeed better than others. We have had good days and bad this year, we’ve lived in the ups and downs and twisty turns of life. There have been no major crazy times and no major highs, just some good days and some bad.
KT Tunstell’s- ‘Through the Dark’ is another song that sums up pretty perfectly the journey into this world of being a mother with lyrics like. “How do I show all of the love inside my heart? This is all new and I’m feeling my way through the dark”. This song expresses some of the joy and wonder at this new world however much it feels like feeling my way through the dark lots of the time.
‘Anthem’ by Leonard Cohen is there purely for the genius lyric: “Ring the bell, that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I’ve had to discard lots of my perfectionist tendencies this year and it’s a battle still raging. This reminds me that the cracks matter.
‘The Rising’ (originally by Bruce Springsteen) with Martyn Joseph singing it marks the rise into hope and a sense of ease in this world that I’ve found towards the end of the year. It’s also from my album of the year, songs of Bruce sung by Martyn. Beautiful joy all round.
‘Hold me’, ‘Another Love’ and ‘Grow Old with me’ by Tom Odell are some of the stand out tracks from one of the new albums of the year we managed to get into. We also loved Jake Buggs offering and ‘Taste it’ is a very enjoyable slice from that one.
‘Because We Can’ by Bon Jovi is a strange choice but its a song I fixated on in the early months of sonface’s life, starting the day with a big fat sing a long anthem cheered me up after long nights of feeding and little sleep. It’s impossible not to smile whilst singing along to such cheese.
‘Adventures of Isabel’ by Natalie Merchant is from another gem of an album (husbandface begs to differ but that’s because he’s had enough of pretty folk singing ladies for a lifetime). Lots of beautiful children’s songs from poems throughout the years.
The CD then takes a someone bizarre turn as we head into songs me and the boy have loved together this year.
‘The Grumpy Song’ from the Aardvark music class we went to is possibly the best song of the year. “If you want to be a grump, that’s ok, but could you be a grump a kind of further away? It’s not that I don’t love you cos you know I do, sometimes I’m grumpy too…” Team Cunningham needs to sing this on a regular basis. The class itself is great- not a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in sight, just some fun music and lots of instruments to play along with. Of the many baby groups we’ve been to this year this one is amongst the better ones. It’s also very cute watching sonface dance to the music and do the actions to the songs.
‘Praise the Lord’ and ‘God is our Refuge and Strength’ from Seeds Family Worship have kept us all reminded of the one who has held us tight this year, who has developed our patience endurance, who has taught us what sacrifice is all about and who has shown us more of his love through our love for sonface. Colin Buchanan’s ‘Lamentations 3’ song reminds me of what I need to know as I face the day, the mercies are new each morning and His faithfulness is great.
‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ and ‘Happy’ are more from the Martyn sings Bruce songs and Kath is very happy as a result album. More songs of hope to end the year with. ‘I Hope’ by the Dixie Chicks carries on with that theme and we end with the classic cheese anthem by Five: ‘Keep on Movin’.
We come to the end of the year in a much better place than the one we started it in. I am deeply grateful to God for holding us close and for our friends and family who have supported us, stuck by us, given us hugs when needed, provided chocolate each week, taken the boy away when it all got too much, enabled us to look on this land with hope and who have made walking through this world a little bit easier. I’ve made some amazing fellow Mum friends and I’ve loved sharing in the craziness of small people with them. I’ve known the care of longstanding friends and friends from our church. I don’t take these amazing gifts lightly and am deeply grateful for all the grace poured out on us this year by others.
I don’t know what 2014 will hold but I know that the one who made us won’t give up on us and will enable us to live with whatever comes our way. Happy New Year and here’s to more crazy adventures in ordinary living in the year ahead.